Sunday 17 December 2017

Vote will merely reinforce and entrench hard-held positions - same as every other election in the North

'Elections in the North merely reinforce and entrench hard-held positions.' Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
'Elections in the North merely reinforce and entrench hard-held positions.' Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
John Downing

John Downing

"Northern Ireland has a problem for every solution."

That piece of smart alec student graffiti from the late 1970s, scrawled in college toilets across the nation, suddenly does not seem so smack-in-the-face inducing for those puerile lavatory daubers today.

In Belfast yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan was at his best in terms of measured diplomacy. It was not his place to comment on upcoming elections in Northern Ireland, which were up to the people to decide. But he reasonably suggested that these elections would deliver much the same result as the elections last summer.

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